Yr. Week, Pt. 1: The Temper Trap + GTA + Gang of Four + The Faint + Opeth + The Sword + The Dandy Warhols + Deep Cuts + Young Girls + More

6dfba84742512dbf4014ed79ab2915c6Alright, so this week I’m attempting to get this whole “cool shows coming up” thing done a bit early, in part because, well, I keep running out of time at the end of the week and partly because there’s some seriously awesome stuff happening mid-week. So here’s my attempt at Part 1 of your weekly rundown, with subsequent parts (hopefully) to follow.

Here we go…

The Temper Trap/Coast Modern @ White Oak Music Hall
I’m fairly new to The Temper Trap, but in a relatively short time, I’ve fallen pretty hard for the Melbourne/London alt-pop quartet. They’re “big” in an arena-friendly way that brings to mind U2 or Coldplay at points and Broken Social Scene or Radiohead at others, but they’ve also got an ’80s-tinged New Wave sound to them, like what might’ve happened if Erasure or New Order had shifted towards stadium rock at some point. It’s anthemic and synth-y and lush and melodic and really, pretty damn good.

They’re playing up at White Oak Music Hall tonight with Coast Modern, a band I’ve heard less from but who are equally impressive. The L.A. duo is bouncy and upbeat, kind of Afrobeat-style but more laid-back and Caribbean, beach music that mashes up reggae-ified pop with hip-hop touches and sunshiny guitars, and which pretty much personifies my own personal vision of SoCal.

GTA/Burns/Two Fresh @ Stereo Live
Weird Dad Moment Time: I hadn’t paid much attention to GTA until my EDM-loving daughter mentioned how much she liked ’em. That was last year, after which the Miami crew played FPSF, and while I don’t think I actually got to see ’em, I’m still liking their dancefloor-friendly, bass-crushing sound, most recently exemplified on this month’s Good Times Ahead. Moral of the story — listen to your children, friends…

14568044_1302184033139898_7296611263306730257_nRATT @ Proof Rooftop Lounge (2600 Travis)
Holy shit, RATT is playing in town tonight, on the roof over at Proof. Now, I can’t claim to have ever been a huge fan — I fully, proudly admit to my cheeseball ’80s hair-metal fixation — but there’s still something that makes me profoundly happy about seeing these guys still touring, playing their old hits for oldtimers like me who’ve graduated from denim jackets and cheap beer to khaki pants and Mojitos (or whatever the current hip cocktail is, I don’t know).

Busdriver/Metasota/Orlando Kennedy @ The Nightingale Room ($10/$12)
Adam Torres/Thor & Friends @ Raven Tower


Gang of Four/The Faint/Pictureplane @ House of Blues
This particular show is one that made my jaw hit the desk when I first saw it, because…well, damn. Post-punk elder statesmen Gang of Four playing with future-electro-pop dudes The Faint? Hell, yes, please. Seriously, if you listen to any rock band with sharp-edged guitars and nimble, fast-moving basslines that’s come around in the past decade, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you haven’t already gone back and dug up Gang of Four’s discography. Now and then, they’re uncompromising and harsh, jabbing a pointed finger at the fucked-up mess our modern world can often be, and they’re just as crucial as they were back in their early-’80s heyday.

For their part, The Faint were one of the first I ever heard of the new then-new breed of electro-rock bands that came out of the late ’90s, and I still listen to 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade fairly regularly. They stood (and stand) out to me for being unrelentingly dark and murky, seemingly a cautionary tale about modern life and technology — much like their current tourmates.

14125109_10154350574523548_6182619308563155643_oOpeth/The Sword @ Warehouse Live
Next up, two serious metal heavyweights. I’ve been hot-and-cold on Opeth, I’ll admit, but I’m liking what I’ve heard so far from recent album Sorceress. It makes me think of ’70s prog-rock and more contemporary stoner-metal far, far more than the band’s more straightforward death-metal stuff, and that’s cool by me.

Then there’s Austin band The Sword, who I kind of have to credit with getting me back into metal in recent years; before hearing the band’s 2008 release, Gods of Earth, I’d pretty much written off most modern-era metal as either boring or hard to listen to (talking to you, Cookie Monsterers). The Sword brought me back into the fold.

The Dandy Warhols/Savoy Motel @ White Oak Music Hall
Wow. For a long time, I avoided The Dandy Warhols; I can’t even explain why, really, but I did. I just told myself somewhere along the line (back in the ’90s, I expect) that they weren’t my thing, and that was it, y’know? Listening back now, though, I’m slapping myself. Hearing the band with more grown-up ears, I’m liking the band’s merging of Brit-pop and classic American psych-rock, with echoes of the things I love about The Rentals, The Magnetic Fields, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and a good dozen other bands, and wishing I could hear more of it.

As an act of contrition, here’s a video for you, from the band’s new album, Distortland:

14642348_1124357737601640_4424085116304480852_nDeep Cuts/Tamarron/Young Girls/The Lories @ White Oak Music Hall
Next up, there’s a cool-ass lineup of local folks playing at the WOMH, with beach-dwelling pop guys Deep Cuts up at the top of the bill, playing their surfy, jangly, psych-tinged sound, which makes me think inevitably of our very own chunk of the Gulf Coast (and that’s a good thing). Also on the bill are the un-Googleable Young Girls, who take the Beach Boys and graft ’em to mid-’90s indie-rock using a thick-as-peanut-butter glue of fuzz, and The Lories, who go in yet another poppy direction that’s sweet and gorgeous and distorted all at once.

Turkuaz @ The Secret Group (2101 Polk)
Taking Back Sunday/You Blew It! @ Numbers
Los Vertigos/Quiet Morning and the Calamity @ The Nightingale Room
Kip Winger @ Proof Rooftop Lounge (2600 Travis)
Handsomebeast/Mind Shrine/Rex Hudson @ The Continental Club
Party at Fitz, featuring Carpet and the Drapes, No Rehearsal, Jazz Radio, & texture: Yellow @ Fitzgerald’s ($10)
Migrant Kids/DJ Dayta @ Axelrad (1517 Alabama; 7-10PM, free!)
Western Bling @ Ladybird’s
Blaggards @ T-Bone Tom’s Steakhouse (Kemah)


Alright, y’all — that’s what I’ve got time for now. With luck, more to come…

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